One of the critical pieces of protective equipment NFL players use is the rib protector. This gear is designed to shield the torso, ribcage, and lower back from potential injuries during the game. Rib protectors are made with cushioned foam padding covering these areas, protecting against the physical impacts of the sport.
Rib protectors are not limited to any specific position on the field. Whether a player is a seasoned professional or a young novice, a linebacker or a lineman, a rib protector is essential for safeguarding the rib cage from possible injuries. Skill players such as tight ends, quarterbacks, and defensive backs also require rib protectors to excel on the field.
Quarterbacks, in particular, often wear a rib protector known as a flak jacket. This reinforced padding hangs from the bottom of the shoulder pads to protect the rib cage. The need for this protection arises because a quarterback's lower torso is exposed when they drop back and pass the ball. Notably, a well-known quarterback, Lamar Jackson, wears the Douglas Rib Protector, a common protective item among quarterbacks.